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8mmFan
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:04 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Mar 2007
Posts: 190

Similar experience to Brewster. Got up at 0300 Friday morning in order to make a long drive up to Northern WI, have time to make a 0730 conference call, and then hunt all day Friday and today.

As best as I could count, I moved 17 yesterday, but none today. I got 3 EASY shots, and one tougher but still makeable one.

I never cut a feather. Itís been some time since I was in the woods, and I was completely startled every single time a bird went up. I think that the getting used to moving through the tangles and branches again made me concentrate more on the footing and movement, and took my concentration off of being constantly ready for the flush.

It was marvelous. Just navigating across country (no big deal: was not miles and miles from a road), listening to the wind in the trees, feeling the cold on my face, looking at the plants and blue jays and woodpeckers, getting ďturned aroundĒ a little bit, getting used finally to moving properly and quietly, wearing double wool sweaters under my game vest, stopping for a break with some summer sausage and cheese at noon or so, using a compass, looking for what should be productive cover, and much more, was a boost to my soul.

I made a lot of mistakes: stayed on roads and trails too much for a while; spent too much time in habitat that in retrospect should have been barren, and was; didnít move quickly toward heard-but-not seen flushes and thereby missed chances at a second bird; and more.

I also feel like I may have taken the wrong shotgun, but who knows if it would have helped? I took a 16 ga Citori, with barrels choked cylinder and IC. I wish now that I had taken my little 16 Winchester 24 SxS, choked improved and M. Probably would not have made a difference, but Iím taking it next time as I shoot skeet with it well (I also shoot the Citori OK on skeet too) for the double trigger and tighter chokes.

I didnít take my one-year-old setter pup, as heís not ready yet (my fault, not his). I also left my two sons home, due to school.

I may try the same act this weekend, but if at all possible Iím pulling my 9- and 11- year old boys out of school and taking them too. My plan is to roughly take the same tack, but put one man on the road/trail, and the other two men 20-30 yards off on each side of the trail to increase the odds of somebody getting a shot. I canít wait to hear one of us yell ďMark!Ē

Again, no birds to roast this week, but it was so darn good to get back in the grouse woods!

8mmFan

P.S. I have never before used the rubber-bottomed, leather-topped L.L. Bean-style ďhunting shoe.Ē It was excellent. I had also never used cordura-faced pants before, they were also excellent. I realize now that a similar styled jacket would be a help as well: my wool sweater that I wore on top of the other one was torn to bits, and even the double layer didnít prevent some particularly nasty thorns from getting through. Iím looking for a good hunting coat that wonít bind under the arms or across the back, and will ditch 30-year-old Filson hunting vest for grouse hunting.
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Riflemeister
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 7:00 am  Reply with quote
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Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 975

Great report on your hunt and wish you better shooting as you settle into the season. Navigating tough cover can be daunting, especially as we age. We just have to accept the fact we're not as good at this as we used to be, but most importantly don't sacrifice safety for one little bird. I appreciate your attitude that it was a successful hunt despite not getting a bird. I'm sure a well trained dog would have made a great difference.

On clothing that is tough enough for that country, take a look at the Duluth Trading lineup. They put freedom of movement gussets on their clothing and have some darned tough material on a lot of their outerwear. I have a couple of their brushed canvas shirts they made quite a few years ago that are comfortable down to freezing with just a thermal undershirt. Sheds blackberry briars down here in the Ozarks better than most jackets. If you order, don't go oversize as their clothing is true to the size stated.

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Pine Creek/Dave
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:08 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Mar 2017
Posts: 2105
Location: Endless Mountains of Pa

8MM Fan,

You might consider spending some time training your 1 year old Setter, the dog will tell you where the birds are located and remove the startled flush so you can gun the Grouse properly. The dog is the hunter, you are the gunner! Definitely take your boys to the Grouse woods with you, the memories will last a life time for all of you. Good luck this weekend.

all the best,

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

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Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers
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PatrickB
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 8:46 am  Reply with quote
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Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 580
Location: Minnesota

Nice report and wonderful attitude.

Grouse have been startling me for more than 40 years and I hope that never changes.
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Chicago
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:24 am  Reply with quote
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Joined: 12 Aug 2007
Posts: 1301
Location: Northern Illinois

Glad you got back in the grouse woods. I just returned from over a month of grouse hunting up by Marquette. If you moved 17 birds one day you did pretty well. I found the numbers up but the hunting spotty.

I would take the pup and just not shoot over him, but getting into some birds will help his development. I spent a fair amount of time with my 7 month old setter this fall and I didnít even take a gun when I took him out. He got down every day I was up there and at times he was a puppy and at other times he hunted. He pointed a pair of grouse the next to last day I was out. The weather was not helpful with a lot of snow and wind.

Good Hunting,
Mike
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8mmFan
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:27 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Mar 2007
Posts: 190

LOL. Dave - Iím definitely ďconsidering it.Ē Iíve just done a very poor job of making time for training this last year. No excuses.

Mike, thanks for the idea of just taking him out and putting him down for a bit with no gunning. The plan is to get him some work on released pheasants and chukar a few times before letting him out on grouse, but maybe I have that backwards.

Heís an intelligent dog with a good nose and instincts, based on things heís done while out in the fields this year; the breeder seems to know his business - Pine Creek Dave has a pup from the same breeder. Donít know if that pup has been on birds yet; Dave could speak to that.

Heís in excellent condition - he runs with us when we run and we get him out into the fields a lot just to run him more. Just needs a lot of actual work.

8mmFan
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8mmFan
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:29 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Mar 2007
Posts: 190

P.S. Riflemeister - I will take a look at DTCís clothes. Thanks for the tip!
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Chicago
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:58 am  Reply with quote
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Joined: 12 Aug 2007
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Location: Northern Illinois

I think being on wild birds first is a bonus. Many may disagree but if the pup spends too much time on pen raised birds first he might crowd wild birds. Once he has figured out how to handle wild birds you can hunt him forever on pen raised birds with no ill effect. Or at least that has been my experience.

Good Hunting,
Mike
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Pine Creek/Dave
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:05 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Mar 2017
Posts: 2105
Location: Endless Mountains of Pa

8mmfan,

Because of my open heart surgery I am only able to work with one pup at a time right now. Pine Creek Shadown our Gordon pup is just a little older than Maggie Mae and is working out quite well in the Grouse Woods, has stood for the .410 thru 16 gauge guns and is going to be a great Gordon Grouse dog. Maggie Mae our Ryman Setter starts her training after I Vote and return to the Potter County, Pa mountains, in early Nov. Looking forward to working with her. She is a real beauty and a very aggressive female Ryman Setter. We have very high hopes for her in the Grouse woods.

all the best,

Pine Creek/Dave
Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers

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ROMAC
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:26 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 07 Mar 2010
Posts: 372
Location: South Eastern PA

Great day even though you did not connect.

I once missed 8 birds with 12 shots on an outing. I still count it as one of my best days though. I was using an unfamiliar gun and just plain old whiffed on every shot.

My pride made me blame the gun but like the old saw says "It ain't the arrow, its the Indian"
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Soggy socks
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:46 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 26 Apr 2016
Posts: 322
Location: Vermont

Feel your pain but sounds like you had a great time. I went 0 for 4 on woodcock the other day. No excuses for once
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skeettx
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:55 am  Reply with quote
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Location: Amarillo, Texas

YES!!!!

I remember in the old days (late 60s), when I used to get up early,
walk to the oak trees, sit down and wait for sunrise and squirrel hunting.
Only to wake up about 10AM with nature all around laughing.
OH, what a treat, you are to be credited !!

Thank you for sharing

Mike

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nj gsp
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 2:13 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 215
Location: WI

So many birds were flushing wild well out in front of the dogs this season that I should have been using IC/M chokes instead of the usual SK/IC. I would have connected I bit more than I have so far, because I passed up a few too many shots that were too far out.
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Pine Creek/Dave
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:22 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Mar 2017
Posts: 2105
Location: Endless Mountains of Pa

nj gap,

Got to admit the Grouse have been real spooky so far this season, Shadow our Gordon pup has been setting them up real nice, getting into gun range has been the problem so far. For a sport that has lost over 50% of it's participants there sure are a lot of Grouse hunters in the woods making the birds real spooky. Taking 50 and 40 yard Grouse shots is not the way I want to hunt. The dry forest here in Pa has not helped the Grouse gunning one little bit. Maybe we will get some well needed rain & snow after the election!

all the best,

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

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Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers
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Pine Creek/Dave
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:46 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 17 Mar 2017
Posts: 2105
Location: Endless Mountains of Pa

8mmfan,

One day I watched a man take shots at 13 different Grouse, he missed every shot. His Ryman dog was working beautifully setting birds for his gunning, he just could not hit anything that day. His own double gun had failed, and in his defense the loner gun, a nice old 16 gauge LeFever with a sock that had a lot of drop, did not really fit him.

Remember this the best Grouse shots who ever lived in Pa, were only 1 for 3 as a life time average, when shooting Flying. That includes some very serious Grouse hunters like George Ryman. Keep at it your bird count will improve.

all the best,

Pine Creek/Dave
L.C. Smith Man

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"L.C. Smith America's Best" - John Houchins

Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers
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